Saturday, September 08, 2012

Great--for a day

Oh the joys of internet connections in the country. We were very excited about our new provider--for a day. Now I am back to using my travel computer because we are without any house connection.

We're looking forward to the Huff n' Puff Balloon launch this evening. I'm hoping for an awesome picture of a BIG balloon close up!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Getting more speed

Those of you living in more metropolitan areas may take fast internet  for granted.  Either that or just don’t give it much thought.  Out here in the “sticks” as they say, we don’t know what it’s like to watch a YouTube video without waiting every few seconds for it to reload. Or for fancy web sites to take a while to pop open.

Until this morning.  Check this test from our computer—now vs before:

Capture  Internet




We changed providers from  Kansas Broadband based out of Salina to Mercury Wireless in Topeka.  Don’t ask me how, but we receive our internet wirelessly from towers.  The interesting thing is the slower speed is from a tower only about four miles north of us.  The faster speed is from a tower near Carbondale which is about 14 miles away.  It is all about “line of sight.”  In other words, our receiver on the roof has to actually, visually I understand, “see” the tower from which it is receiving.   And, it is all about new technology, which it seems Mercury Wireless has the latest and best.  So far it appears they might.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Eurasian Collared-Dove

We have a visitor—again—in our front yard. 


At first glance, this might be a Mourning Dove escaping from the hunters blasting away in the public hunting a half mile away.  At least that’s what we thought.

Then on second look, it definitely is bigger.  The call is louder and a bit harsher.  The Eurasian Collared-Dove originated as a Mideastern species that extended its range into Europe, the Bahamas, then Florida.  The information on my Audubon Guide says this species was officially recognized in the U.S. in the 1990’s.  It probably will become more common to have  sightings here in Kansas as the species moves westward.  Dan sat outside this morning watching the bird in the picture and he said it was not tolerant of the Mourning Dove pair we have had here all summer.  If it is going to be a bully species, the good news is that this bird or one similar only shows up in the spring and fall. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Christmas in July

Last spring we were shopping at our favorite store—Cabalas—when we noticed the tent cots on display.  We thought they might make a good Christmas present for all the grandkids.  When the parents agreed, we then thought what a crime it would be to give them camping equipment in the middle of the winter.

Consequently, they all received their Christmas gifts in July.

As it turned out, everyone used them over the Labor Day weekend.  This is our Colorado family, Carly, Drue and Trent with Doug taking the picture.

photo (1) And, this is their camp set up.

photo (2)

Doug & Drue opted for a double tent cot, thinking the kids might invite friends to go with them camping.  Looks like there is plenty of room in that thing.

photo-1 Dan and I went camping with our three local boys, Aaron, Adam and Evan, last night as well.  This site greeted me as I peeked out the door this morning.  The chair in the middle is where I sat supervising last night.  There seemed to be a little problem with settling down.  It is totally unlike me, but I don’t have one picture of all of them around the campfire. 

We received good reviews all around.  It does get them up off the ground.  They are neat inside with cup holders and places to put things. 

There are two downsides as far as I can see.  First, they are very heavy.  The smaller kids could not lift them when they are folded up.  Second, if they are closed up tight with someone sleeping inside, they accumulate moisture on the inside top.  I think they might need a little cross ventilation, which is no problem in the summer.  It could be different when it is cold.